The first movie theater to be built in India was Chaplin Cinema, also known as Elphinstone Picture Palace. Chaplin Cinema was built in 1907 by Jamshedji Framji Madan. He set up India’s first chain of cinemas by the name of Madan Theatres. Chaplin Cinema was located on 5/1, Chowringhee Place, Kolkata. The theater has since been demolished.
Jamshedji Frmaji Madan was referred to as the father of film production in India. He began as a helper boy in the Elphinstone Drama Club. The club grew to be very successful and toured all around the globe. Jamshedji decided to settle down in Calcutta. He bought the Corinthian Hall, a famous drama theatre at the time. In 1902, he began setting up bioscope shows around Maidan, an open ground used as a protest site. Eventually his interest moved into cinema screening and he opened the Elphinstone Picture Palace in 1907. The palace was later named “Minerva” and was a popular theatre for screening Hollywood films. In the years to come, political upheaval and general unrest would lead to losses for the theatre. In an attempt to salvage its profits, the theatre was named Chaplin Cinema after the legendary Charlie Chaplin. However, the theater could not sustain any longer and was demolished in 2003.